Computing giant Apple has finally revealed the next additions to the iPhone line-up alongside other devices during an online event.
In a big break from tradition the new phones will no longer come with headphones or a wall charger adapter in the box (although it will continue to include cable for USB charging, and has added a new wireless charging option).
Apple claims that this is being done for environmental reasons — saying customers around the world already have a combined total of 700 million headphones and that many customers have moved to wireless.
It says two billion of its power adaptors are out there in addition to billions more third party ones.
“We are removing these items from the iPhone box, which reduces carbon emissions and avoids the mining and use of precious materials,” a spokeswoman for the company said.
“Removing these also means a smaller, lighter iPhone box. We can fit up 70 per cent more products on a shipping pallet — reducing carbon emissions in our global logistics chain.”
Here’s what you need to know about the new Apple products:
THE IPHONE 12 MINI
Apple has revealed its new smartphone will come in a Mini verison. It’s basically a smaller version of the iPhone 12 containing all its features, but in a smaller, lighter form. It includes a 5.4-inch display in a body similar in size to the iPhone 8.
The iPhone Mini will retail at $1349 in New Zealand, while the standard iPhone will go for $1499.
Three other new iPhones were also released, including the largest-screen model ever. Read about them here.
A NEW WAY TO CHARGE
Apple is offering a new way to charge your iPhone, called MagSafe. The charger itself resembles one used for the Apple Watch, allowing for improved wireless charging. It’s a circular magnet in the back of the phone.
There’s two purposes: firstly, wireless chargers will now attach straight to the phone and secondly, the phone can attach to other accessories directly, using its magnet to stay inside new cases, or to keep hold of a wallet for example.
APPLE ANNOUNCES IPHONE 5G CAPABILITY
Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed the next iPhone will enter the 5G wireless space. He says this means faster downloads, better security, improvements in gaming, and other “breakthrough innovations.”
“Today is the beginning of a new era for iPhone,” he said.
Read about local support for 5G here.
Rival phonemakers like Samsung and Huawei have had 5G technology in their phones for over a year – Samsung’s S10 5G was the first available in Australia.
However, Apple has never released a device featuring the next-generation mobile technology, which is significantly faster than 4G and also provides lower latency.
Read about New Zealand carriers’ support for 5G here.
WHAT ABOUT THE CAMERA?
The iPhone 12 camera will include a faster aperture, which means big improvements to low-light performance and features like Night Mode, allowing it to capture more light in an image. Night Mode will also add a time lapse option.
The phone will use something called computational photography to bring out more details in images, such as faces that appear darker when a light source like the sun is in the background.
TOUGHEST IPHONE EVER
Apple reckons its new phone is the toughest smartphone ever thanks to its new ‘Ceramic shield’ technology.
It has four times better drop performance, apparently, “the biggest jump in reliability we’ve ever had on iPhone.”
THE HOMEPOD MINI
The first product Apple unveiled at the event was the HomePod Mini — which they called the “ultimate speaker for smartphone users”.
“HomePod mini has everything customers want in a smart speaker — amazing sound for listening to music, a world-class intelligent assistant that delivers a personal experience to each member of the household, and like every Apple product, it’s designed with privacy and security in mind,” said Bob Borchers.
The original HomePod was announced in 2017 and went on sale in early 2018, positioned as a high-end speaker centred on Apple Music and the company’s Siri voice assistant. Since then, Apple has added additional features to the HomePod.
This new pod will be available in white and grey, and features:
• Siri Shortcuts created on iPhone and iPad are accessible on HomePod mini, so users can ask Siri on HomePod mini to start a pot of coffee, control a robot vacuum, add milk to the grocery list, and more.
• Ambient sounds, including rain, a fireplace, a stream, and more, offer the perfect background noise to focus, relax, or fall asleep. Siri can set a sleep timer so the sounds automatically stop playing.
• Find My helps locate a misplaced iPhone, iPad, iPod touch®, Mac, or Apple Watch by playing a sound to pinpoint its location.
• Web search results from HomePod mini can be sent directly to the user’s iPhone for easy viewing.
• Music alarms let users wake up to a favourite song, playlist, or radio station from Apple Music.